How To Fix Can’t Open PDF On Windows 11/10

“One of my colleagues sent me a PDF that I needed to view, analyze and edit immediately. But, no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to open it. What do I do?”

Many of us swear by Adobe Acrobat Reader as our primary PDF viewer or even editor. There are also users who count upon some other great PDF readers to view and manage their documents.  While working with PDFs, issues do surface time and again. Not being able to open PDF files is a common issue that annoys many users.

If you are in that situation and can’t open PDF files, worry not! Here are things you can do to fix the issue –

Why Am I Unable To Open PDFs On My PC?

Let’s have a look at some reasons why PDFs won’t open on your PC –

  • Your PDF reader is outdated.
  • The file that’s sent to you is corrupt.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader is in Protected Mode.
  • PDFs infected with virus.
  • While transferring errors struck the PDF.

What To Do If Your PDF Files Are Not Opening?

– Disable Protective Mode At Startup

The Protective Mode was introduced in Adobe Reader version XI. It runs PDF files in sandbox mode and helps check the PDF for any malicious threats that may infect the Windows Registry or system directories. Sometimes, instead of proving to be helpful, it is counterproductive and doesn’t let PDF files open. You can disable this mode once if you trust the PDF file –

  1. Click on Edit and then select Preferences.Preferences
  2. Under Categories, select Security (Enhanced).
  3. On the right, uncheck the Enable Protected Mode at startup under Sandbox Protections.Protections

– Ask The Sender To Send PDF Again

While not a very common occurrence, at times when creating PDFs errors tend to creep in. Or, it could be that the PDF wasn’t correctly uploaded if in case you have asked someone to upload it on a website.

But, how would you know that the PDF file you have received is damaged? For this, you can try opening some other PDF file and if that opens, you know that the problem lies with the PDF. In such cases, you can ask the sender to resend the file.

– Try Opening The PDF In An Alternative PDF Viewer

You can also give an alternative PDF viewer a try. Advanced PDF Manager, for instance, is one of the best tools that let you organize, merge, password protect, and split your PDF files. Amidst various features, viewing capability is one of the best aspects of this tool.

It comes with five different views as shown in the screenshot below –

Advanced PDF Manager

  1. Collapse View
  2. Small Multiview
  3. Medium Multiview
  4. Large Multiview
  5. Single View

Depending on how you want to view the PDF and further, perform tasks to up your productivity around PDFs, you can switch between the various views.

– Uninstall Current Adobe Acrobat Reader

There are chances that you are trying to open an older PDF document or a PDF that has been created using a non-Adobe product.

In such cases, using an older version of Adobe Reader has proved to be helpful to any users. Before installing the older version, make sure you uninstall the current Adobe Reader completely. Once you have done that, install the older version and try and open the PDF.

– Update Adobe Reader

Contrary to the above point, it could be that you haven’t updated Adobe Reader in a while because of which your PDF document is posing compatibility issues. Try checking for the update and fetch it using the steps mentioned below –

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Click on Help.
  3. Click on Check for Updates. If there’s an update available, click on Update.Check for Updates
  4. Reboot your computer

– Repair PDF

You might not be able to open a PDF file if it’s corrupt. That being said, it is possible to repair corrupted PDF files as we have discussed in this post. Once you have repaired the PDF try and open it.

– Repair Installation

Since we are talking about repairing PDFs, how about fixing issues with Adobe Acrobat Reader itself (if there are any)? For this –

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Click on Help.
  3. Click on Repair Installation and follow the on-screen instructions.

Repair Installation

Can You Open Your PDFs Now?

We earnestly hope that you can. Do share with us the fix that worked out for you in the comments section below. Interested in more such troubleshooting guides, app/ software listicles, and other tech-related useful and engaging content? Keep reading WeTheGeek. You can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Flipboard, and Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe Now & Never Miss The Latest Tech Updates!

Enter your e-mail address and click the Subscribe button to receive great content and coupon codes for amazing discounts.

Don't Miss Out. Complete the subscription Now.